Loggerhead Shrikes – They are MIA

/, Birds, Loggerhead Shrikes, Utah/Loggerhead Shrikes – They are MIA

Loggerhead Shrike portraitLoggerhead Shrike portrait – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 357mm, natural light

I’m used to seeing Loggerhead Shrikes all year round here in northern Utah but they have been MIA for quite some time. My last sighting was about two weeks ago of a single bird and before that it had been at least since late December or January since I saw one. Their absence might have been caused by the harsh winter we had combined with the heavy snow that would have reduced their opportunities to capture their prey which in the winter would consist of small rodents like voles.

Fluffed up Loggerhead ShrikeFluffed up Loggerhead Shrike – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I’ve been waiting for them to show back up and to see them perched on top of Sagebrush or Rabbitbrush singing. It is difficult to think of them as a songbird because they act like tiny raptors at times but they are indeed songbirds. Take a listen here about halfway down the page.

I’ll be glad to see them again when they are no longer MIA.



  1. Eileen March 24, 2013 at 4:08 am

    Cool shots of this beautiful bird, Mia! I hope they come back!

  2. Susan March 21, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Strange how we really miss the birds in winter. I hope they come back soon Mia. Lovely photos in this post.

    • Mia McPherson March 23, 2013 at 6:27 am

      Susan, I think I have missed shrikes especially because we normally have them year round but this winter was harsh and they had to move to find food. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Jane Chesebrough March 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    hope they come back, I miss some that used to be around here. Drought has sent them on a different migration path.

    • Mia McPherson March 23, 2013 at 6:26 am

      Thank you Jane, I hope your shrikes come back soon too

  4. Tami March 21, 2013 at 10:47 am

    The colors in these are beautiful, Mia. Shrikes are such fascinating birds. Hope to see more images soon!

  5. Nicole March 21, 2013 at 9:40 am

    What a gorgeous bird!! I am worried about it being MIA… I hope that some have survived and it will return.

    • Mia McPherson March 23, 2013 at 6:25 am

      Nicole, thanks for your comment. I am sure the Loggerhead Shrikes will be back soon, this winter was rough on them and I think they just moved further south.

  6. Sherry in MT March 21, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Interesting bird. I saw my first ever shrike on my deck this winter, rather large bird and haven’t seen one since. I too wouldn’t think of them as a songbird either.

    • Mia McPherson March 23, 2013 at 6:23 am

      Sherry, we get two Shrikes, the Loggerhead and the Northern, both of them act more like tiny raptors than song birds. They are also called Butcher Birds because they impale their prey to consume later.

  7. M. Firpi March 21, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Beautiful little big tyrant!!!

  8. Kathleen Finnerty March 21, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Lovin’ fluffy! Perfect feather exposure and catch light in the eye! You’re the best!!

  9. Bob Bushell March 21, 2013 at 5:45 am

    A beautiful creature, the Shrike is amazing bird, well taken Mia.

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